Board of Directors

Robert C. Kreipke (Chair)

Ford Motor Company

Robert Kreipke is currently retired and spent most of his career as Ford Motor Company’s Corporate Historian and Creative Manager. Bob’s career at Ford includes producing awarding winning films and videotapes, producing live shows, and executive strategic planning. Bob has also authored two international books – Ford Motor Company, the First 100 Years and The Model T. In addition to becoming Ford’s Corporate Historian, Bob directs various nationally recognized films, including award winning documentaries shown on PBS. His still photography and videos capture the beauty around the Great Lakes region and are displayed in many museums throughout the state. Bob lectures around the country relaying Ford’s colorful heritage. During the past years he has served as President of several organizations: Oakland County Navy League, The International Television Association, The Detroit Producers Guild, and Historic Fort Wayne Advisory Board.


Terry Sharik (Vice Chair)

Michigan Technological University

Terry Sharik is currently a Robbins Research Professor of Sustainable Resources and Emeritus Dean of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES) at Michigan Technological University. He holds a B.S. degree in Forestry and Wildlife Management from West Virginia University and M.F. and Ph.D. degrees in Forest Recreation and Forest Botany, respectively, from the University of Michigan.  He is co-founder of the Biennial Conferences on University Education in Natural Resources and the North American Forest Ecology Workshops. He serves as the Education Chair for the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs (NAUFRP). His involvement with the Society of American Foresters, where he is a Fellow, includes being on the editorial board of the Journal of Forestry for forest ecology and for communications and education, and on the Task Force for Accreditation in Natural Resources. He currently serves on the boards or oversight committees of the Sustainable Forests Partnership (chair), Rocky Mountain Science and Sustainability Network, and Gombe (Tanzania) School of Environment and Society-USA (chair). He is the author of over a hundred publications in more than thirty journals in the areas of forest ecology and the scholarship of teaching and learning.


Donna LaCourt (Secretary) ‡

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Donna LaCourt is currently on the Agriculture Development Team with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. In this role Donna works with agriculture, food processing and forest product businesses to support their development needs related to supply chain, funding and financing, policy and regulatory and international trade. Prior to this position, she was an International Trade Development Manager with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation where she worked in both international trade and bioenergy business development for over 6 years. From January 2007 to May 2008, Donna was Michigan’s State Forester and the Assistant Chief of the Forest, Mineral and Fire Management Division within the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Prior to joining the DNR, Donna worked for International Paper for 13 years in a variety of forest resources management and staff positions in the United States and international assignments in Brazil and Russia. She holds a BS in Resource Management and Forest Biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Forestry from North Carolina State University. Donna is both a Certified Global Business Professional and an Economic Development Finance Professional.


Warren Suchovsky (Treasurer)

Michigan Association of Timbermen
Michigan Farm Bureau

Warren Suchovsky and his son Karl own a small logging company. They operate two cut-to-length harvesting systems. Warren began his logging career over 60 years ago with a Finn saw and a horse. They almost exclusively harvest timber for private non industrial land owners. Many of these sales are administered by consulting foresters. He owns and intensively manages over 500 acres of forest land. This land is enrolled in the Tree Farm program and is also under a FSC group certification program. His forest land received the MI Tree Farmer of the Year and the Midwest Tree Farmer of the Year recognition. Recently it was verified as meeting the criteria for MDARD’s Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program’s Forest, Wetlands, Habitat A-SYST. Over the years Warren has been very engaged with several forest and natural resource organizations. Currently he serves on the MIFBI Board of Directors (Treasurer), three MI DNR Advisory Committees, is a long time member of the Michigan Association of Timbermen Board of Directors (Treasurer) and is the Chairman of Michigan Farm Bureau’s Forestry Advisory Committee. He also serves on the Advisory Committee of MTU’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.


Brian Craig

Ferris State University

Architect and educator Brian Craig, AIA, utilizes his architectural abilities to serve humanity and create a sustainable future. Since graduating from the University of Michigan in 1975 and starting his career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Afghanistan, he has designed major architectural projects, grown a successful practice, led numerous public and private boards, and most recently founded the Master of Architecture program at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University.


Brenda Haskill ‡

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Brenda Haskill is the regional specialist in Forest Utilization & Marketing and has been employed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources since 2015, performing marketing and outreach along with communications between the private sector and state government. Prior to being hired by MDNR, she held a variety of positions in the private forest industry sectors including executive director of the Michigan Association of Timbermen, project manager for the Slow Ash Mortality research project, log procurement forester for Besse Forest Products, and executive director of Luce County Parks and Recreation in Newberry, Michigan. Brenda received her Bachelor of Science degree in forest management from Michigan Technological University where she is a member of the Advisory Board for the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences. In her free time, she volunteers with the Little Traverse Land Conservancy, has been a member of the Society of American Foresters for 20 years, and is also a new Forest Stewards Guild member.


Jake Hayrynen

JM Longyear

Jake Hayrynen is currently Sales and Marketing Manager and Assistant Secretary for JM Longyear LLC & JM Longyear International. JM Longyear is a fully integrated natural resource company based in Marquette, Michigan with offices in Sault Ste. Marie & Bancroft, Ontario. Founded in the late 1800’s in the Upper Peninsula, Longyear currently owns and manages 165,000 acres of timberland and over 200,000 acres of mineral rights in the Great Lakes Region. Jake is a senior level natural resource professional, with over 32 years of experience in all aspects of the forest industry. He has been instrumental in the growth of Longyear’s land base and operations in the US and Canada, their marketing & sales program and their log & stumpage procurement program. He is also instrumental in strategic growth strategies, acquisitions and implementation. Jake graduated 1981 from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry. He is involved with various industry organizations and is currently a member of the Advisory Board for the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences at Michigan Tech of which he is also a recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2012 and made a member of the Honors Academy in 2013. He is currently on the Canadian National Railroad Advisory Board for the Great Lakes Region, Co-Chair for the CN Rail Forest Products Committee, a member of the Michigan Biomaterials Institute Board of Directors, and the Michigan Forest Products Council Forest Policy Committee. He is a member of the Lake States Lumber Association and has been a member of Society of American Foresters for 32 years. He is also involved in leadership positions in various fraternal and philanthropic organizations.


Richard Kobe

Michigan State University

Richard Kobe is a Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Forestry at Michigan State University. Kobe conducts research in Michigan temperate forests as well as Costa Rican wet tropical forests and currently teaches a graduate course focused on proposal writing and an undergraduate seminar on forests and the environment. Most of Kobe’s recent energy has been focused on leading his Department through a time of great change for natural resource academic programs. Kobe serves on the Editorial Board for the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Environment and has served on numerous advisory panels for the National Science Foundation and other agencies. Kobe started as an Assistant Professor at MSU in 1997, after postdoctoral research at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest and Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. He earned a PhD in Forest Ecology from the University of Connecticut and a BA in Biology from Denison University. Before pursuing a career in science, Kobe interned with the Ohio Legislature and the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.


Jack Schinderle ‡

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Jack Schinderle is the Director of the Waste Management and Radiological Protection Division of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Jack came to the DEQ from a Chicago based environmental company 27 years ago. He has spent most of his time at the DEQ working in the waste programs on a wide variety of topics and issues. In addition, he has experience assisting the regulatory programs with compliance assistance and outreach, and supporting the regulated community with implementing pollution prevention opportunities. Jack holds a B.S. degree from Purdue University.

 ‡ Ex officio members

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